Good morning! I work in the Financial Services industry and I am curious to see if and how firms are incorporating Compliance into their instances to make sure that e-mails are all approved and correct prior to sending out e-mail blasts?
Any information that you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Christina! Is there an existing QA/approval process for emails internally? If not, it may be easy to incorporate a 'testing/approval' smart campaign inside program templates to ensure the approval always happens before the scheduling of live emails.
Financial Services compliance is a real bear, isn't it?! I used to work for an independent BD and our compliance of public facing assets went through a global relay product that in no way was integrated with Marketo. So everything was pretty manual. First, during our on-boarding we had our implementation manager set up a BCC so that every email we sent was also sent to a compliance email box, so we had a record of everything we ever sent that could be recalled. Although this isn't ideal, it's what we were able to accomplish with limited engineering support. Then for every email we sent out, we were given a compliance approval number, that I added the footer of every email so if a compliance team member ever asked for the approval I could reference the right record in their system. These numbers were long and ugly, so I usually made the text very small and the color the exact same as the background (like white on white) so it was more or less invisible to the end user. Or you could use HTML ( e.g. <!-- approval info here -->)to comment out the approval number, date, etc. The commenting out would also be helpful if you're using Marketo LPs.
Next, for disclosures, where the language ALWAYS stays the same (like your broker/dealer disclosure or paragraphs of variable annuity disclosures) we put all of those into snippets and then pulled them in where ever they were needed. That way if they changed say annually, we could update them in once place and have them propagate everywhere. You might also consider using tokens for this purpose as well.
Finally, we used dates in our program naming convention, and those dates were the approval dates of any materials, so that we knew with by the same time the following year, the content would no longer be valid.
Anyway, if you have other specific questions feel free to ask! We were a small B/D with limited resources, so some of this might not be super relevant to you.
Good looking out Christina Zuniga!
Joe Reitz runs training at AWS, and although they don't have the compliance issues that FS does, they have a gigantic database and a lot of users. They have pretty tight processes around email approvals. Joe, do you have any suggestions?
I spent years as the sole Marketo force at a private equity firm. The process I developed worked well for my situation. It placed responsibility for all approvals and compliance checks on the content creator. I wouldn't create an email or send a proof until I received finalized copy. Surely this didn't stop changes after I received copy, but it got compliance and stakeholder approvals out of the way for the most part - and took that responsibility off my plate.
If you are the content creator as well the Marketo user, I'd recommend drafting copy and gaining all approvals before you even create the email in Marketo. That way you don't need to make a bunch of small adjustments to your assets.
Hope that helps!
I never got there completely, but I travelled a bumpy road to improvement. Kept asking if things were approved, followed up with those who approved, really drilling down to find out where things were - and managing expectations. It helped that I explained just how long I spent going in and editing emails over and over and over. Seemed to resonate a bit.
Spent a few years at an FI as well - and while there were some workflows in Marketo to help trigger users to ensure approvals followed defined processes (i.e. reminder flow steps), most of the actual processes occurred outside of Marketo. For example, content would go through approvals in Workfront, then once emails and landing pages were developed (and finalized with any content tweaks), they would go BACK into Workfront for a 2nd round of approvals. Workfront said they had a Marketo integration at some point but we never moved forward with it while I was there - might be worth checking out.